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Sydney Man with Severed Finger is Compensated after Liability Waiver Signed

Case Overview
  • Our client had paid to participate in an endurance obstacle course and had signed a liability waiver acknowledging that the event was dangerous and waiving his right to compensation.
  • In the course of the event, he sustained a horrific injury whereby he severed a finger on his dominant hand
  • Our team at Gerard Malouf & Partners was able to show that our client’s injury was caused as a result of organiser’s negligence outside of the scope of the waiver.

Our client had paid to participate in an endurance obstacle course and had signed a liability waiver (as required by the event organizer) acknowledging that the event was dangerous and waiving his right to compensation. Our client has then in the course of the event sustained a horrific injury whereby he injured a finger on his dominant hand, severely disfiguring him.

Our client approached Gerard Malouf & Partners unsure about his right to compensation in the circumstance where he had signed a waiver.

“Many people are under the impression that once a liability waiver is signed there is no entitlement to compensation.However, if you can prove that your injury was due to the organizer breaching their duty of care, you may be successful at obtaining compensation.”


DAVID COSSALTER
Our Approach

We commenced proceedings in court on behalf of our client, however the Defendant attempted to hide behind the waiver and claim that as the client had signed this waiver document they were not liable to pay compensation for his injuries.

The team at Gerard Malouf & Partners were able to show, through the extensive subpoena material obtained, that our client’s injury was caused as a result of the organiser’s negligence outside of the scope of the waiver.  Subpoena material showed that shoddy workmanship was the result of hazard which caused our client’s injury. The event organiser had failed in their duty of care to the client by allowing the hazard and failing to take any precautions against the foreseeable risk of harm.

The Result

The team successfully brought the matter to a resolution through informal settlement with the event organiser and a result of over $240,000 in compensation was obtained for the client.

David Cossalter Lawyer

David Cossalter

Managing Partner
David is a strong negotiator who will put every effort in the endeavour to settle your claim prior to court proceedings, but he also thrives in a court room ready to ensure client’s rights are pursued when negotiations do not succeed
Frequently Asked Questions

More Information

Public liability refers to the responsibilities owners or occupants of public space have to protect anyone who enters. If the owners or occupants fall short of these responsibilities, resulting in an injury, a case for compensation can be made.

Some of the most common incidents covered by public liability law include:

  • The food or drink from a restaurant makes you sick: The most common example of this type of public liability is food poisoning, however improperly disclosed allergens could also lead to litigation.
  • A slip and fall accident caused by negligence: Slip and fall incidents are especially common in busy public places such as playgrounds, schools, shopping centres, common walkways in buildings and outdoor event venues. They can result from negligent behaviour if poorly lit, uneven, unmarked, or slippery surfaces are involved, amongst other reasons.
  • Injury caused by poor workmanship: If a product used by a space fails mechanically and causes an injury, a public liability claim can often be made. Examples include exploding gas bottles, poorly constructed furnishings and inadequate building structures. These cases may also be eligible for product liability litigation, if you decide to pursue both the property owner and the product manufacturer.
  • An attack by an animal while in a space: If the owners or occupants of a space fail to keep an animal, whether domestic or wild, contained as a result of negligence, you may have a potential case.

Following an initial meeting, the first task will be to establish the general facts of the case. This will include your medical diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed and documented by a doctor; and proof that the person or company at fault owed you a duty of care, which will need to be demonstrated. Together, this will show that your injury occurred when they breached that duty of care.

From there a further investigation will proceed—contacting and interviewing witnesses, speaking with expert consultants, and more—all in order to bolster the strength of your case even further. Only once this process is complete, and your claim can be demonstrated and proven in full, will the process move on to the next step.

There are time limits involved with public liability claims, so it’s important to make a claim as soon as possible to ensure you remain eligible. Usually, individuals have three years from the date of injury to file a claim but this may differ by state and it is often best to start the claims process as early as possible.

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 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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